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The Congress of Essential Workers, a group founded by fired Amazon employee Christian Smalls, gathered about 100 people outside of Bezos' Beverly Hills mansion, the Los Angeles Times reported. The group has previously held rallies outside of Bezos' homes in New York City and Washington, D.C.
Amazon disclosed on Thursday that 19,816 of its frontline U.S. employees, or 1.44% of its total workforce, including Whole Foods employees, have either tested positive or have been presumed positive for COVID-19.
"Good Morning #cali #LA," Smalls wrote on Twitter on Sunday after the news. "Today is a great day to March on Jeff Bezos 165 million dollar mansion who’s with me let’s do this! #Solidarity."
The Congress of Essential Workers' demands from Amazon include:
- The right to unionize
- Free child care and health care
- Employees being tested for COVID-19 be placed on full paid leave until they test negative and can return
- $30/hour minimum wage
- $2/hour hazard pay increase
- Reinstatement of all employees fired during the pandemic for "refusing to work, protesting or related reasons"
The group also advocates for a federal wealth tax of up to 3% "not only to fund Amazon workers but also to help deal with global crises like climate control, homelessness and pandemics."
Amazon ended its $2-per-hour hazard pay in early June and unlimited unpaid time off in late April. Amazon announced in late June, however, that it would be giving $500 "thank you" bonuses to full-time frontline workers and $250 to part-time frontline workers. The tech giant said in a blog post that it has made 150 changes to its operations amid COVID-19.
Smalls was fired in March after staging a small walkout over conditions at a Staten Island warehouse. He quickly gained the media spotlight after calling for Amazon's JFK8 fulfillment center to be shut down for deep cleaning and accusing the corporation of lying about how many workers have tested positive for the virus.
An Amazon spokesperson previously said Smalls was terminated for "violating social distancing guidelines and putting the safety of others at risk."
FOX Business' inquiry to Amazon wasn't immediately returned.
FOX Business' Audrey Conklin and Lucas Manfredi contributed to this report.